Wednesday, September 23, 2020

I Guess Not

                                                        Image by Leonhard Niederwimmer from Pixabay 

I find that there is no response to my absence on this blog, so have decided it should change. Just not sure what direction to take it. I find that trying to be consistent with posting to be anxiety producing, which is something I don't need right now. So whatever I do, I don't think it will be on a regular schedule, at least not for awhile.

I'd still like to make a positive difference in someone's life, to help the world be a better place one person at a time. So shall I be commentator, an encourager, educator, instructor, inspiration?  What? And what do I want from that? 

If I want acknowledgement, how do I get you, Reader, to respond/comment/contribute? Should I be controversial? 

Should I consider using the blog for profit? Fill it with ads that I get paid for? 

What do YOU think?

                                                            Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Did You Miss Me?

                                                                                Image by Alesya-Lesechka from Pixabay 

I didn't post last week. I was wondering if anyone noticed. Did you miss me?

Is there anyone else you haven't heard from or seen in a while? Have you checked on them? Do you know how they are doing?

In this Covid-19 world, checking on folks could be really important. We don't really know what friends and family are going through if we don't hear from them. Isolation, especially for older folks, can be pervasive. While many, probably most of you are out and about, those at higher risk are still trying to stay safe at home. Contact with others is very limited, especially if they don't have internet access.

So check in. See how they are doing.

Personally, I'm struggling with loss of emotional stamina. I seem to have lost the ability to "go with the flow." World, national, local and family events have worn me out. Early this week a major personal loss kind of did me in.

Oh, I'll recover. It is just so rare for me to not to be able to deal with life well. I'm just having to take extra care of myself. And, I do get tired of having to do that, too.

What I would like for you to do is for you to let me know if my blog makes any difference. Is it worth continuing? Or would it make any difference if I didn't post a weekly blog post?

Comment, please.

                                                                                       Image by silviarita from Pixabay 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Break or Be Broken?

                                                             Image by skeeze from Pixabay 

There is no question that the stress levels are very high these days. There are so many uncertainties, so much chaos, fear, pain, grief, etc. So it is imperative that we take special care of our mental and physical health.

Accumulated stress can break you. You can become overwhelmed, depressed, physically ill, and feeling out of control. You can lose your sense of direction, hope, even your faith.

We can't let that happen. The troubling times are not over. We need stamina to make it through the months ahead. But if you are broken, you won't make it.

So, let's all take a break! Taking a break means "interrupting activity briefly." Take some control by consciously setting aside time to simply stop. Temporarily stop attending to those things that create your stress.

Maybe you need a few hours less on social media. Or maybe you can stop watching the news every evening. Or you can meditate on beauty or nature or joy. Give your mind a break from the stimuli that keep the chaos churning in your brain.

Try reading a novel for pleasure or watch a funny movie or something that takes your focus away from your own life. Or start taking walks on a regular basis, without your cell phone!

Find something that takes you away for a few minutes, at least. And you'll be better prepared for re-entering the fray.

Take a break. Don't get broken. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

False Evidence Appearing Real

                                                         Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay 

F.E.A.R.: False Evidence Appearing Real

Fear is a natural reaction to a present threat. It helps us protect ourselves from present danger. It is when the danger isn't present but is anticipated that can keep us stuck, prevent us from moving forward.

Check out this article bEd and Deb Shapiro

Overcoming-f-e-a-r-false-evidence-appearing-real from AWAKEN.

Don't let these fears keep you frozen, unable to move through them. We can't afford to let fear win.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Fear: I See It Everywhere

The only way to diminish all the anger and violence is to reduce the fear. Anger or pain are the most common causes of fear.

People feel angry when they fear losing something important to them, or when they are in pain. Remember the last time you stubbed your toe or hit your finger with the hammer? What word did you say - or at least want to say?

So, we see a lot of anger and violence, and we seem to have trouble understanding why. It is because of all the fear and pain (including emotional pain) people are experiencing.

People are afraid to wear masks because they think they will lose their right to choose more than they fear the Covid 19 virus. They tell themselves that they wouldn't die of it, and usually don't consider that they might have permanent organ damage from it.

People are in pain from losing jobs, income, the ability to provide for their family. They are in pain from losing social interactions, from losing loved ones to Covid-19, from dealing with so many changes in their lifestyles. People fear they will lose their home, their belongings. They lose contact with their elderly family members in long term senior facilities.They fear losing their plans and dreams of their future.

People are afraid of losing things that they care about. Some of their fears are realistic - but not all. Many are based on "what ifs" that have very little chance of happening. Some are things they can prevent if they put their minds to it and ask for help. Some are things they are told or seen in the media that are just not true. The T.V. and Internet send out false information to sensationalize the information and to manipulate the public to do or not do things.

People fear themselves. Well, actually they fear learning who they are at their center. And all this time of quarantine and isolation leaves them without their usual busyness, and they are confronted with "empty time". For many, this is very scary, and they frantically fill it with TV marathons and constant time on their cell phones and internet checking out all the sensationalized posts.. Or they compulsively cook or bake and eat. Or their addictive behaviors get out of control.

Depression and anxiety increase. We hear of more and more suicides and murders.

Fear and distrust multiply when the truth and lies compete for their attention. This is why we see so much anger and violence. This is what we must confront in order to find our way of the chaos.

Start by looking within yourself. Get to know your own feelings of fear and develop a method that helps you confront your own fears. Then listen to others to learn what supports their anger or pain. 

It is only when we reduce the pain and anger, the situations that create those  feelings, that we can begin to reduce the chaos. We must provide accurate and true information and confront the false, manipulative information. We must teach ourselves and others how to deal with those fears, to confront the likelihood of the occurrence of what is feared and/or develop plans for how to prevent or deal with them if they do.

We need to take back the power of truth, honesty, integrity. It is time that we addressed the problems and not just the symptoms, the pain and fear and not just the anger and violence. Of course, we can't ignore the violence, but we must work extraordinarily hard to reduce the pain and fear that fuels it.

We must make peace in our communities and our country. We can't wait for someone else to do it. We must invest our time, energy, money in changing the experiences that cause pain and fear.

Only we can make this a better world

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Listen to Understand

A lot going on in our country/world these days. And a lot of it is sometimes hard to understand. When we don't understand, we increase our stress, making our lives harder. Let's try to find some understanding. 

I'm learning to listen differently. Listen through a different perspective than our own. For me, I have to consider a perspective of someone younger, someone with a different income level, someone with a different childhood experience, someone with a different cultural heritage, someone with a different family experience. Those are just some of the differences that can shape what a person thinks, feels, and believes. 

And each is valid for that person. "Different" is neither good or evil. It just is. Our values are formed by our experiences throughout life. Yes, it is possible to change one's values if they aren't working for us. But not everyone knows that.

So when I listen to someone who is different, I need to consider their perspective from where they are in their life. What shaped their values? What would it be like to be, say, twenty years younger? What life events did they not experience that you did? The assassination of JFK was significant for me.Times were very different after that in our country. Assassinations of prominent people was not part of my youth before then. After that followed Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, etc. A different world for our country.

What would it be like to have been born into a lower or higher income family? What if our parents hadn't finished the 8th grade or had been college graduates? What if food was hard to come by, if we never knew when we'd have a full meal, if we didn't have lunch money for school? Or what if everything came to us easily, we always had whatever we wanted, never went without anything, never went without any necessity or want? Our attitude about life would be very different if everything was given to us without our struggle, or if we never had enough no matter how hard we tried.

What would it be like to be a child in a dirty backstreet alley with no toys but junk we picked up, with no grass or trees, no one at home most of the time, with violence and poverty the norm. How would that shape someone differently from someone growing up in clean, well kept neighborhoods where at least one parent was home during the day and both at home at night. Where bikes, wagons, basketballs, and dolls were the norm;Where you didn't experience violence or going without what you needed, and those things only happened on t.v.

How might you be different if your family and neighborhood were from a  different culture? Are you aware of what those differences are? Cultural histories have a great bearing on a person's values and point of view. What if your grandparents had been interred in camps because of theire nationality? What if your parents didn't have access to the jobs or education thay wanted because of their nationality? What if you were ridiculed and bullied in school because of your heritage? How would you see the world differently?

What if you grew up in a very different kind of family? Maybe you didn't experience a two-parent family, that that wasn't the norm when you were growing up. Maybe your siblings each had different fathers that came and went in your lives. What if you grew up with a parent that was drug addicted? What if you were removed from your home by community services and then bounced around in foster care. Or what if you were raised by your grandmother of aunt because your parents were absent for any variety of reasons? What if your mother was abused by your father or other men in your life? What would your beliefs about family, about women, about marriage, about all of that be later in your life? How would you see the world differently?

When you listen to learn these things about others, it is easier tu understand them, the things they do and say. You can begin to see things from other perspectives and can open your mind to the differences in people's experiences.

But in order to do that, you have to connect with people who are different, people you don't understand, and have meaningful conversations. You need to listen in a different way than when you listen with the intent to disagree and convince them their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are wrong. Acknowledge the differences and look for common ground. You will find you are more alike than different and that there are many things you have in common.

Listen, and come together to make a better world.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Remember When Computers First Became Popular for Homes?

                                               Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay 

Computers were supposed to make life easier. And we were told to look forward to a paperless society. Do you remember that? You are probably too young. Most folks have lived their whole lives with computers as part of their normalcy.

But I remember our first computer. It wasn't even on line. The internet wasn't for personal use yet. Basically it was a word processor that soon went to online use, email and for academic research mostly. It made library research much easier.

And paper was on these connected pages that rolled through sprockets on your printer. The printer was louder, too. But we really didn't print that much then.

Then came the Internet and faster computers and more ways to use them. We are now to the place of information overload. With social media and digital news sites we can spend days learning new things, or playing computer games. FaceBook has half the world on line at any given time.

So, has it made your life easier? Not mine. I've had to learn new languages, techno speak, interpreting error messages, finding the correct web links, keeping up with email.

EMAIL! Currently I'm changing email providers. Have you ever done that? Argh. What a process to get old address books to new inbox. Letting everyone know your new address, including the sites you log into. I'm ready to go back to a paper address book! Lots easier to copy into a new one.

In the process I'm also unsubscribing from a lot of junk mail that comes my way. That's a good thing, just time consuming, especially not each site has the same link to do it. And some of them require more than just a click on a link to make the cancellation. They really don't want you to go!

And, about that paperless society? Before you had a computer, did you ever buy paper by the ream? Crazy. Now, I guess since the coming of iPhones, etc., lots of those things I print to take to the store or blood drive can be done with a scan of the phone. I'm just not there yet.

I've been dragging my feet about getting an iPhone. But it is getting to be that there are things you can only do with a cellphone. So we are shopping for one now. Sometime down the road I'll probably have a blog about that whole experience.

In the meantime, enjoy your easier life with less paper.

                                                                  Image by Ag Ku from Pixabay